January 04, 2005

Grand Disillusion

Naseer Flayih Hasan is an Iraqi, with a fascinating piece in Frontpage magazine.

A few questions to keep in mind before we read it:

  • Lefties: You say you "support the troops but oppose the war". OK. It's illogical and makes no sense to most of the troops, but fine, let's accept that for now. So why can you also not seem to oppose the war but support the Iraqi people?
  • Since so many of the leading lights of your movement are actively giving comfort, if not aid, to the terrorists who wish to either return to the golden days of Ba'athism (complete with plastic shredders, rape rooms, childrens' prisons and mass graves) or establish an Islamic caliphate (with Sharia, stonings of gays, death to fornicating women - not men - and institutionalized, eliminationalist anti-Semitism), tell me; where does your distaste for George W. Bush spill over into wishing the worst for all those inconveniently swarthy peole we've just freed from slavery?
  • If it were Republicans who were actively hindering the pursuit of freedom for all those inconveniently swarthy people whose liberty your movement so completely abjures, why would it not be racism?
Read Mr. Hasan's piece, and think about your answers.

Hasan notes:

Because of our isolation, most of us had little idea or sense about life beyond our borders.

We did believe, however, that democracy and human rights were important factors in Western civilization. So it came as a shock to us when millions of people began demonstrating across the world against America’s build-up to the invasion of our country. We supposed the protests were by people who had no idea about the terrible atrocities that the regime had inflicted upon us for decades. We assumed that once they learned what had happened in Iraq, they would change their minds, or modify their opposition to the war.

My first clue that this would not happen was a few weeks after Baghdad fell.

One wonders how Michael Moore's blather about the Ba'athists being the new Minutemen plays over there.
My first clue that this would not happen was a few weeks after Baghdad fell. I had befriended a French reporter who had begun to realize that the situation in Iraq was not how the international media or the so-called “peace camp” described it. I noticed, however, that whenever he tried to voice his doubts to colleagues, they argued that he was wrong. Soon afterwards, I met a Dutch woman on Mutinabi Street, where booksellers lay out their wares on Friday morning. I asked her how long she’d been in Iraq and, through a translator, she answered, “Three months.”

“So you were here during the war?”

“Yes!” she said. “To see the crimes of the Americans!”

I was stunned. After a moment, I replied, “What about the crimes of the regime? It killed millions of Iraqis. Do you know that if the regime was still in power, the conversation we’re having now would result in our torture or death?”

Her face turned red and she angrily responded, “Soon will come the day that the Americans will do worse.” She then went on to accuse me of not knowing what the true facts were in Iraq—and that she could see the situation better than me!

So - the Iraqis (to much of the American and international left) are both incapable of appreciating liberty, and can not be trusted to relate what they have seen with their own eyes - or blood.


And so I have become disillusioned, at least with the Leftists I met in Iraq. So noble in their rhetoric, they looked to the stars, yet ignored what was happening around them, caring only about what was inside their minds. So glorious in their ideals, their thoughts were inflexible and their deeds unnecessary, even harmful. In the end, they proved to me how dogma and fanaticism had transform peace activists into—lifeless peace “statues.”
In other words; real liberty for real people - real people who've endured the most ghastly possible suffering - is not as important to these people as the victory of their ideology.

Mr. Hasan is learning.

Posted by Mitch at January 4, 2005 05:09 AM | TrackBack

Hmm. I want a free and democratic Iraq, and believe that what we're doing there is unlikely to produce either. What does that make me?

Posted by: Jeff Fecke at January 4, 2005 02:02 AM

A pessimist who won't learn from the evidence right in front of him. Or a partisan, ditto. *shrugs* Your pick.

Posted by: Kevin at January 4, 2005 06:43 AM

Jeff, I appreciate your comments here. My question to you is: OK, what would you do differently? My problem with the left throughout all of this is the complete lack of alternative proposals that would achieve the replacement of Saddam with a democracy, in a manner that is more successful that what we have accomplished. I also think that much of the left has actively aided and abbetted the enemy, because the insurgents' entire goal is political: they want to cause enough havoc that we will lose our will and pull out, and in this much of the left has actively given them hope of success. Remove the hope of success and you'd remove many of the problems we face. I also believe that many of the problems we face in Iraq are due to what Gen'l Franks calls a Catastrophic Victory; victory over Saddam came so fast that a vacuum was created and will take time to overcome. Finally I believe that when compared to any such endeavor in history the success of both Afghanistan and Iraq are astonishing in scope. The left seems always to compare Iraq to some instant, idealized perfect war that has never once happened in all of history. All of which is not to say that everything is or has been done perfectly.
So again, please say specifically what you would do differently. (Oh, and PLEASE don't say you'd get our "allies" involved. We know that "allies" like Germany, France and Russia had other fish to fry in Iraq and a vested interested in subverting our efforts and keeping Saddam in power. There would likely never have been a war if the UN-SC has presented a united front -- Saddam would have backed down -- and French et. al. opposition to our efforts once again gives hope and solace to our enemies. Our real allies are involved.)

Posted by: chriss at January 4, 2005 07:05 AM

An addendum to your point Chriss: Save for the British (who are already there) and France (who never will be) our traditional allies no longer have significant numbers of deployable troops, even if that had the will or domestic political clout to lend them (and they don't). So if troop levels are the problem (an often stated but hardly certain position), "allies" are not the answer.

Posted by: Doug at January 4, 2005 08:18 AM

"The interests of the Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the Crusaders." --Osama bin Laden, 2/14/03.

It is high time and long past due that we identify and dismiss the illiterate notion that Old Europe, led by Germany and France, and the UN, led by Old Europe, share any coincidence of interest with the United States. We are their enemy. They wish to hobble our economy, destroy the moral authority of our representative republic, and impose a foreign ideology through the election of a socialist government sympathetic to Islamic terrorism. They do this for the money Middle Eastern oil will provide and are colluding, ultimately, to have crude oil priced in Euros instead of dollars so as to finance their decrepit and moribund economies at our expense.

The American Left, in failing to realize the extent to which their ideals, where applied, have resulted in tyranny and genocide and widespread human suffering, continues to support and applaud the romantic fixtures of their cause while exploiting the ignorance of the very constituency it presumes to represent.

It is the same strategy inflicted upon every nation that has succumbed to Communism, from Stalin in Russia, Mao in China, Ho in Vietnam, Castro in Cuba, Hussein in Iraq and the ayatollahs in Iran and the House of Saud. Islam is the instrument, not the objective, just as liberalism and the Democratic Party is the instrument by which the American Left, undaunted by the consequences of their myopic ideals, seek not the establishment of a free society in Iraq, but the defeat of any American policy by which that liberty might be obtained.

In the increasingly integrated, globalized world we live in today, the failure of Liberalism to recognize the fundamental human principle that "if my brother is not free, then I am not free" is the singular impediment to success in the War on Terror in all its manifestations. Once again, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem, and it is the Left, and the fanatics in the Democratic Party, who have much to answer for in the current state of affairs not only in Iraq, but throughout the world today.

They are on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: Eracus at January 4, 2005 10:12 AM

Eracus and Doug -- Brilliantly stated both of you.

Posted by: chriss at January 4, 2005 04:01 PM
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